: Congratulations, Mark. What did you think when you got the call?

Mark Lyle: I was blown away. There was a group of very talented and capable candidates that the decision makers had to choose from. I haven’t done this (starting) as long as others, but I wanted to give it a shot. I think they made a great decision (chuckles).  I look at this as like being on the Supreme Court, it is a job for life. I plan to treat it with as much respect as an appointment to the Court. Big shoes to fill.
: How do you think that first day will go at Pomona? To many of us Pomona is Mecca, and now you are the guy, it’s your deal, you’re in charge. How do you think that is going to feel?

ML: I hope it does not hit me until seven o’clock Thursday night at the end of the first day (of the Winternationals). So I don’t want to give it that much thought. I just go out there and do what I do, do it well. I’m sure it will sink in as the weekend goes along, though.

: Do you foresee any changes in how things are done on the starting line when you take over?

ML: I don’t know. We’ll play it by ear after a couple of events. I will tell one thing is for sure -- no straw hat for me and no chair! (He laughs) I’m sure I will hear about that from Rick (Stewart). I will wear a headset too, for the hearing protection. It’s what I am comfortable with. I cannot see any changes, unless there are some rules changes that come down the pipe. But, other than that, no. All the guys on that starting line crew I have confidence in and respect for. If they tell me there is a problem and we need to shut down a car, then it’s shut off.

: Do you think there might be some racers who might want to test you?

ML: You know, I have gotten to know quite a few of the professional drivers and crew chiefs over the past few years of working the national events, and I did do some starting here and there. They know where I stand, and I think they respect what I can do. That’s not to say somebody might think about it though.

: How did it, as they say, “play at home?”

ML: I have been married for over twenty years and my wife has been supportive in this whole drag racing thing. She is happy. I could not have done it without her.

: Mark, we know it has been a long day for you, and can only imagine your phone and Facebook page have blown up, so we appreciate your time. And once again, congratulations from everybody here are DRO.

ML: Yeah, thanks! My voice mail is nearly full, my Facebook page has 400 entries on it. So it’s been quite a day. Thanks to everybody for all the warm wishes, and even to those who cursed me for leaving Division 6.